How to seem genuine in an interview?

Hi all,

I'm currently interviewing for roles and I'm having trouble coming across as genuine when I give my cookie cutter answers. I think its a combination of nerves along with the fact that I'm inexperienced with interviews. Based on your experience, what's the best way to showcase personality yet remain humble and show that you have a good understanding of how important it is to fit in.

Need some pointers on how I can seem more genuine moving forward and I'm open to anything you guys have to say!

Thanks

Comments (7)

  • Prospect in IB - Ind
Jun 12, 2019

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Jun 12, 2019

Networking helps you get more comfortable talking to people. If I hadn't spoken to dozens of people over the phone and the first time that I spoke with a banker was during an interview I'd have failed all of my interviews. Other piece of advice is to tell stories. If they ask why investment banking don't say you like the meritocratic environment, getting, challenged, or any of that cookie cutter bs. Tell a story. I wanted to do medicine. Did an internship, didn't like it,. but still found it interesting, now I want to do healthcare IB. There's a lot more nuance but to stay anonymous I won't get into it.

With technicals, they want to know if you did your homework, and you can recite it exactly from the M&I 400. When it comes to behaviorals and why our firm, that is when you need to be personal. And again, tell a story. If you're interviewing at GS/MS/Evercore/etc don't say you want to work there because it is the best firm. They know that and they know you know that. Tell them how you sent email after email only to get 1 response and how that person forwarded you to another and them another. Tell them you had to work hard to discover the firm and that once you did the culture appealed to you. talk to them about the trip you made to NY solely to meet these people in person.

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    • 1
Most Helpful
Jun 12, 2019

Trying to seem genuine is literally the opposite of what genuine means.

    • 3
Jan 2, 2020

It is difficult, because it depends on your social skills; if you naturally have them, it is really easy, you only have to be yourself. If you do not have good social skills, it is more difficult because maybe it is not enough by being yourself.

Try to be conversative, smile, give long answers (but not too long), show genuine interest in the role, and as someone said above, try to answer with stories; don't give the generic answers that any candidate can give. Those companies have a big pool of tremendously qualified and inteligent people; what differentiates you from the rest of the candidates (in final rounds) is how likeable you are.

For me is easy, I am very easy going and I feel comfortable meeting new people, regardless of who they are or the context. You don't have to think of the interview as you vs the interviewer, but as a "first date": you have to seem interesting and the interviewer has to leave the interview thinking that he wants a "second date". The best scenario possible is that the interview evolves more into a conversation, where you also ask questions and there is real dialogue than a questionnarie.

If you are shy and it is difficult for you to meet new people, you could try to take a shot (or more than one depending on your tolerance) before the interview. Given a certain technical level, what makes the difference is how you say the things and how you communicate with the interviewer, and alcohol can help you with that, so in some cases maybe it is worth to give it a try. I have never done it, but I think that it can help.

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    • 1
Jan 3, 2020

How about start off by fixing the cookie cutter answers. If they're cookie cutter, then that means you don't really care about the position or are too lazy to put in the work. Take some time to reflect on what from your work experience can be brought to the role and what the role can bring you

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  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Jan 3, 2020

As hard as it is to believe... you accomplish this by actually being genuine

Jan 3, 2020
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